Nobel Peace Prize Nomination
Throughout 2018, we ran a global campaign championing defenders for the Nobel Prize, and successfully raised awareness about the issues they face, and the important role they play in upholding the rule of law and building peaceful societies. The nomination was supported by over 4000 people and 200 organisations worldwide. Then, we launched the campaign ‘Shoulder to Shoulder with Human Rights Defenders’, to mark the 20th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. The campaign raised awareness of the issues facing human rights defenders and increased the visibility and credibility of their work.
The Right to Defend
Now, we want to go even further to raise the profile of human rights defenders working in some of the most dangerous environments in the world. PBI UK are working closely with the filmmaker and photographer Manu Valcarce on ‘Right to Defend’, a multi-media, multi-platform communications and awareness campaign, celebrating those making universal human rights a reality. Whether they are fighting for social equality, access to justice and a fair trial, or land, environmental and indigenous rights, the risks these individuals take are many. We believe their stories set an example of solidarity and humanity that needs to be heard. We want to shine a light on the stories of extraordinary human rights defenders taking a stand against injustice: community leaders fighting to protect collective land rights against mining companies; women struggling for gender equality; human rights lawyers risking their own safety to defend the rights of activists.
PBI UK are working on a unique 60-minute documentary film, online platform, photographic exhibition, and social media campaign presenting the work of around 100 at-risk grassroots human rights defenders in Latin America, Africa and Asia on the frontline of the global fight for universal human rights.
We will be releasing the first piece of the project on the 10th of December: Human Rights Day. 'The Defenders' is a short film exploring the experience of being a human rights defender in countries where the rule of law is fragile. You can watch a preview here:
So far, approximately 100 stories of human rights defenders have been recorded across four countries (Colombia, Honduras, Mexico and Nepal) alongside photographic material. You will be able to see the film at festivals in 2020, and the portraits will be debuted at an exhibition held at The Law Society in London, before touring worldwide. The online platform will enable PBI to further its impact as a global entity across 21 countries for campaigning, advocacy and awareness-raising to enhance the protection of human rights defenders.
We need your help
We need your support to ensure this can happen. PBI has been providing direct protection to human rights defenders on the ground for over 35 years. Yet in the midst of a global trend of closing civil society space, we urgently need to increase awareness at the international level, to secure the systemic change that is necessary to improve protections for every human rights defender globally.